Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Inside the Junque Gratitude Journal...

I decided to start the journal with some inspiration from Joanne Sharpe's "Top Ten tips for Artful Lettering" *. She says:-

If you want unique lettering on your journal pages, begin with your very own handwriting.  Get comfortable with making letters and writing words and quotes.  Explore and experiment with new pens and supplies to write with.   Each tool gives you a different look and feel.  It takes practice, practice, practice just as if you were learning to play the piano!  Try making a new alphabet where all the letters have a common element.  You must make “artful letters” every day!  

 So I took some quotations about "gratitude" off the web and had a go at lettering these with different pens.

I had already added the circles to the page when I decorated it  so I also used these as "containers" for the quotations.

I am sorry to say that my writing does not look anywhere near as exciting as Joanne Sharpe's wonderful examples, but it has got me started...

* See Art Journal Every Day's fabulous July 2011 “TOP TEN TIPS for ARTFUL LETTERING” by Joanne Sharpe

Read more: ttp://

Monday, 29 August 2011

Junque Gratitude Journal - completed

I have finally completed the junque journal in the last post; as I explained there I want to use it for writing in so I have not used scrapbook papers or other papers on the pages as I won't be gluing material inside it.

It is just a ruled exercise book with a stapled centre, so I have coloured all the pages with a mixture of water colour 

crayons and  Inktense pencils and kept the margins.
For some of the pages I used  diluted tube watercolours in misters and sprayed the pages.  For the cover I just used lots of misted layers and some alphabet letters from a Doverclip art book.

Finally I used lots of fibres and ribbons to decorate it - and also to reinforce the pages as the centre staples were showing the strain!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Junque Journals - minus some of the junque...

Junque Journals -  minus some of the junque...!!

I always try to keep a gratitude journal - inspired by Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance -but I have been using just plain notebooks...

However I am now inspired by the look of Junque Journals - I love them and have now made several - but I decided I also wanted simple books to write in daily , just using simple pens. The gratitude journal is just a list - 5 things a day which I am grateful for.

It is a great discipline because whatever your mood, you realise that there are always really good things in your life.

So I bought a cheap set of recycled exercise books from Morrison's supermarket.

I decorated the pages using watercolour crayons and water soluble Inktense pencils from Derwent.

I used a variety of colours and templates and then sprayed them with a mini water bottle and painted them with a water brush.

Between pages I dried them off with a heat gun so I have made a lot of pages all ready to go as I am now trying to always have pages ready in all of my journals so I can journal at a moment's notice.

I have tried to make them lively and colourful and I have kept the margin for numbering my 1 to 5 things to be cheeerful about with a date across the top.

I am really pleased with them -I think they will make a great record of my days - and my ups and downs! As my lists are very brief when I am a bit down, but much more expansive when I am excited with life!

I will post some pages when they are done. They will also give me a chance to practice my hand writing - I am trying to make my own style of writing into more of an interesting font  following Art Journal Every Day's fabulous July 2011 “TOP TEN TIPS for ARTFUL LETTERING” by Joanne Sharpe

Read more:

Friday, 12 August 2011

Retrospective Junque Journalling

 Now that I have made a Junque Journal I am very discontented about my discovery journals ...

 I think they are a bit like glue books maybe? As they are just a home for all sorts of images, quotes, news clips, patterns - just anything that interests me, but there is no journalling... I also paste in whole pages from newspapers and magazines  with reviews and with things that interest me...

So I decided to retrospectively turn my current book into a junque journal instead.

The current book is just a cheap lined A4 ruled book with a ring bound spine.

I reinforced each spread with the sticky tape you use for the back of picture frames... this was essential as the weight tears the paper off the spiral binding.

I also removed a few pages to take the pressure off!

 I used scrapbook paper and bits and pieces to fill around pages that already had things pasted in -

and I used watercolour crayons to colour around the pages where there was just blank space. Because the paper is thin, it is already cockled by the paste so once the crayons are wetted there is a nice grunge look to them...

New pages had a mixture of scrapbook papers, or were coloured in with the watercolour crayons...

I found some dramatic images to dress the pages...

And I also added a page of borders...

Now I will carry on with it and maybe dress it up a bit more with clips, ribbons etc...

But I can't get over how much more interesting it has become and how quickly and easily I could do it, it just took yesterday evening and was great fun...

Now I am wondering whether to just continue this with every new book I use, or whether to go back and grunge up all the ones I have already done! Or both of course!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Junque Journal - first go

I keep hearing about Junque Journals and have been intrigued to find out more about them....

For several years I have kept a series of "Discovery Journals" inspired by Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance - I keep clippings, quotes, mementoes - just about everything but they are very utilitarian, as making a full art journal spread for each page would have been too slow for the amount of sheer stuff I want to keep...

So I wondered about using a Junque Journal instead as this sounded like the kind of thing I want..

First I had to find out what a Junque Journal is.
The Art Journalling thread on has links to this summary on You Tube  Uploaded by  on Jan 17, 2010
"At the request of the Art Journal Caravaners, a quick glimpse at Tangie's Junque Journal made out of a composition notebook."

Well I don't know what a composition book! is but I was keen to get started...

First I found this A5 Red and Black notebook which has stitched seams and seemed similar. (Yesterday I also bought a pack of exercise books from Morrison's which may also fit the bill...)

We were about to go to London to cat sit for our daughter so on Friday night I put the journal together very quickly, using ribbons to tie around the spine to reinforce it in several places, and added pasted in scrapbook paper, scrumpled up pages  inked with stamp pads, and added mini bulldog clips - all as shown on the video.

We went down to London on Saturday and normally we would have stayed in London for all 3 nights  and gone to shows and out for meals - but we went down to Dorset to a hotel  for Saturday night to go butterfly spotting instead.

Thank goodness we did.

We heard about rioting in London on Saturday and Sunday but we had no idea how bad it was!

We found out on Monday night when the riots were in full swing.

We decided to go into London through Croydon as that would be so quiet!!

We  missed the turn for the M25 to Croydon - and the riot there! - but drove straight into Clapham where all the riots were kicking off.

So the Junque Journal starts off with things we did on the way to Dorset and back...

and then turns in to a record of the most obscene rioting and looting...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Emotionally Challenged Journal

 Back to my book of feelings... 

I did "Feel the Fear" and  "Anger" some time ago
and I made a page in my Journal of Prompts for more ideas for the "Emotionally Challenged" Journal

I had already made a background, using some left over acrylic wash, as I am trying to make sure I always have some journal backgrounds ready to go (as I explained in an earlier blog).

The background was shades of green but I felt it was about time I did a positive emotional spread in this journal as I get agitated when I look at the spreads I have already done! So I resisted going with Green-Eyed Monster and I wanted to make a page using the Calm prompt instead.

I found some quotes off the internet to get some good thoughts - as calmness is not one of my greatest attributes -

For collage images first I found a howling wolf so I thought that was what I should try to escape from,
and gave him a moon (taken from a pack of mirrors I am intending to use for Indian Shisha (mirror-work) embroidery - one day...).

I love horse imagery so I found a very free, galloping horse, He is charging off through some white gates I cut out and carrying on into the next page which has flowers, candles, a calm arch through into the green of the natural world, and Tim Holtz chipboard letters telling me what I should be trying to do.

I coloured all the lettering and quotes with tones which blend with the flowers and added some white lettering to summarise the feeling of the whole spread....

Now to calm down!!